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Hunger Strikes in Immigration Detention 2020

2015 to 2019

Self-Harm in Immigration Detention
34 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate
Families/Individuals who Campaigned Against Deportation and Won

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News & Views Monday 1st June to Sunday 7th June 2020
 
Immigration Stats, Q1 January/February/March 2020

Pre-Departure Accommodation (PDA) Tinsley House IRC

Holds people being returned under the family returns process when other attempts to remove them have failed, usually for no more than five days.

There was one incident of a Hunger Strike in February 2020 and five incidents (two in January, two in February and one in March) of detainees on suicide watch.

.
Harmondsworth Q1 2020, averaged two suicide attempts a day through January/February/March, a total of 98 Incidents.

In the previous six months, there were 56 attempts in Q4 and 42 in Q3.

There was a sharp upturn in the number of Hunger Strikes in Q1 2020 there were 94 incidents of detainees refusing food. This compares with 63 incidents of detainees refusing food in the previous six months, Q’s 3 & 4.

Hunger Strikes in Immigration detention Q1 2020



January February March






Brook House
2 1 0 1






Colnbrook
12 6 2 4






Dungavel
1 1 0 0






Harmondsworth 59 32 19 8






Morton Hall
17 9 3 5






Tinsley House
2 0 2 0






Yarl's Wood
0 0 0 0






Larne
0 0 0 0






Manchester
1 0 1 0







Sub Total 94 49 27 18

‘Cruel and Unnecessary’: Immigration Detention During the Pandemic

One in seven immigration detainees were detained for over a year with the longest period of detention over 20 months – or the equivalent to three years and four months’ prison sentence. The latest statistics from Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) reveal that 95% of the group’s cases had been successfully granted bail since the lockdown began. According to BID, the findings show that the Home Office has demonstrated a number of failings in its approach to bail hearings during the pandemic. The group examined the reasons given by the Home Office to detain people and to oppose bail during the lockdown and whether the Home Office’s claim to be primarily detaining ‘high-harm individuals’ was borne out by the facts. It found a ‘high risk of harm’ was only claimed in nine of 42 cases; and in 27 cases the Home Office relied only on an applicant’s previous offending to support its allegation that the individual presented a risk of harm. More than half of the applicants (23) were accepted by the Home Office to be ‘adults at risk’ in detention. Whilst detention is to be used for the purpose of removal, the Home Office referred to the current travel restrictions in just seven cases.

At the end of April, the Home Office wrote to the President of the First-tier Tribunal, expressing ‘surprise’ at the level of grants of bail in recent weeks in what was seen, according to BID, as ‘an attempt to influence the independent judiciary’. The president of the tribunal reminded the Home Office that the courts decide bail applications in accordance with the law, and criticised the Home Office’s approach to bail applications. ‘This research lays bare a catalogue of failings in the Home Office’s approach to detention decision-making. Immigration detention is already an inhumane system where people can be locked up indefinitely without trial,’ commented BID Director, Celia Clarke. ‘Its use during COVID-19 places detainees, staff, and indeed the country, at risk. It is both cruel and unnecessary and must be ended as a matter of urgency.’

Jon Robins, Justice Gap, https://is.gd/SdXk9Z

Incidents of Self-Harm Requiring Medical Treatment








1st Quarter January February March
Brook House
8 3 3 2






Colnbrook
23 5 6 12






Dungavel
1 0 1 0






Harmondsworth 98 30 40 28






Morton Hall
11 7 3 1






Tinsley House
4 2 1 1






Yarl's Wood
6 2 2 2






Larne
0 0 0 0






Manchester
0 0 0 0








Subtotal 151 49 56 46

























Incidents of Detainees at risk of Self-Harm











1st Quarter January February March
Brook House
43 14 15 14






Colnbrook
118 42 42 34






Dungavel
1 0 1 0






Harmondsworth 215 66 82 67






Morton Hall
100 36 32 32






Tinsley House
37 11 15 11






Yarl's Wood
37 13 15 9






Larne
0 0 0 0






Manchester
11 1 8 2








Subtotal 556 183 210 163